Project Ara was the missing link from Google’s even last September when we got to see the new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. But Project Ara has not been forgotten and Google’s special team is still working on making the modular smartphone a reality. With partners like Toshiba already on board the project with camera sensors, Qualcomm and others already making chipsets for the phone and Google in talks with many other hardware manufacturers for Project Ara participation, the new modular smartphone will be a true pinnacle of technology. And it will probably have a Force Touch input feature, similar to 3D Touch on the iPhone 6S and Force Touch on the Apple Watch. That’s because Synaptics just announced that they’re ready with the technology and smartphone manufacturers will be able to make good use of it next year.
Project Ara is a modular smartphone that proposes a customizable hardware experience that users can enjoy in order to save money, time and the planet. Project Ara smartphones will be made up of hardware modules containing parts of the smartphone such as the display, processor, RAM, internal storage, camera, speakers, sensors, Bluetooth, NFC and battery. These modules can be switched out like Legos would to make room for improvements. The concept of a forever-phone like Project Ara is sitting well with Android users who have become tired of spending entire paychecks on flagship smartphones that still don’t fulfill all their needs. Project Ara aims to change that and it might add an entirely new feature: Force Touch.
Yesterday, Synaptics announced the debut of ClearForce Technology, which is essentially a dupe for Apple’s 3D Touch feature that lets people use pressure for input. According to the company specializing in input for computers and mobile devices, ClearForce will essentially let people use pressure with their fingers or styli in order to interact in new and different ways with their devices’ screens. The company lists various new input methods that ClearForce will allow in the press release:
- Variable speed scrolling
- Picture zoom and panning
- Function preview and selection
- Continuously variable gaming control functions
- Unlock and wake up
- Right-side mouse click behavior (open contextual menus)
- Line thickness control while drawing (e.g., when writing Chinese characters and creating artwork)
- Image editing (brightness, contrast, saturation)
- Upper case and symbol selection (to bypass keyboard mode changes
While the fact that Synaptics announced availability for ClearForce doesn’t prove that Project Ara will make use of it. While ClearForce is going to debut on smartphones launched in early 2016, we’re not entirely sure Project Ara will be ready by then. Google has not yet revealed when Project Ara will reach completion and become a consumer product, although sources say early 2016 isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds.
The Project Ara release date is uncertain and hype around Google’s modular smartphone attempt is not yet at an all-time high. With all companies involved being silent about the matter, our gut is telling us there’s a mystery to be solved here. Our hunch is that Project Ara is almost done and ready for consumers and that expecting it to launch early next year is not that outrageous. This smartphone sounds like the perfect phone for anyone and we’re hoping for it to be launched as soon as possible. Having ClearForce pressure-sensitive input through a dedicated module would be just the cherry on top of the cake.
PS5, PS4 Game Death Stranding Coming Natively to iPhone 15 Pro
PS5 and PS4 console game Death Stranding Director’s Cut is coming natively to the iPhone 15 Pro, demonstrating its power. The entirety of Kojima Productions’ seminal hiking sim, Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil Village, and Assassin’s Creed Mirage, will be available on your phone. Bonkers!
Tech giant: “Continuing Apple’s leadership in smartphone silicon, A17 Pro improves the entire chip, including Apple’s biggest GPU redesign. The new CPU is 10% faster with microarchitectural and design improvements, and the Neural Engine is 2x faster, powering iOS 17 features like autocorrect and Personal Voice.
According to the company, the pro-class GPU is 20% faster and unlocks new experiences with a 6-core design that boosts peak performance and energy efficiency. Hardware-accelerated ray tracing, 4x faster than software-based, gives iPhone 15 Pro smoother graphics and more immersive AR and gaming experiences. The iPhone 15 Pro brings console games to smartphones for the first time.
As with all cutting-edge Apple products, participation is expensive. The iPhone 15 Pro will cost £999/$999 at launch, and the Max model will cost £1,199/$1,199 for a 6.7″ screen. The most basic option only gives you 128GB, so you’ll need more if you want to play Death Stranding on the go.
However, the blurring of standalone consoles and mobile games is fascinating. The success of Genshin Impact, a full-fledged open world, has shown there’s a market for console-like mobile games. It will be interesting to see how Death Stranding performs on this latest iPhone generation.
Launched Redmi Note 12 series: 200MP camera, 210W charging for less than $400
The three phones have similar screens and processors, but they vary in a number of ways.
The Redmi Note series from Xiaomi has historically been the brand’s most well-liked smartphone line, providing excellent value in the entry-level market. The Redmi Note 12 series has now been unveiled by the firm in China.
The Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition, Redmi Note 12 Pro, and Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus are the three phones we truly have this time. A flat 6.67-inch FHD+ 120Hz OLED screen, a Mediatek Dimensity 1080 5G processor, and a 16MP selfie camera are features shared by all three devices.
They both have a 3.5mm connector, NFC, IR blaster, and Wi-Fi 6 compatibility, among other things. In contrast, there are a few significant variances.
Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition
The Note 12 Discovery Edition of the Redmi Note 12 has a 200MP HPX primary camera (f/1.65, OIS), making it possibly the most striking model. This camera can capture photographs with a resolution of 200MP, 50MP pixels (using four-in-one binning), or 12.5MP (using 16-in-one binning). Additionally, the phone offers a 2MP macro lens and an 8MP ultrawide camera.
The phone is notably different from its stablemates in that it supports 210W wired charging; according to Xiaomi, a full charge can be achieved in just nine minutes. Although you only get a 4,300mAh battery here, this high wattage comes at the expense of battery capacity.
Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus
Thought a 200MP smartphone with a larger battery would be cool? With the Pro Plus model, you get precisely that. The triple back camera system will have the same 200MP+8MP+2MP resolution as the Discovery Edition.
The Pro Plus variant, on the other hand, chooses a 5,000mAh battery and still blazing-fast 120W cable charging. Xiaomi claims that a full charge should be achieved in about 19 minutes.
Redmi Note 12 Pro
Have no interest in megapixels? The Redmi Note 12 Pro, which adds a 50MP IMX766 primary camera (f/1.88, OIS) in addition to the 8MP+2MP duo, fills this need. The Oppo Find X5 Pro and the Asus Zenfone 9 both feature flagship devices with 50MP sensors similar to this one. We therefore have high hopes that it will also produce acceptable image quality on the Note 12 Pro.
The Pro version additionally includes a 5,000mAh battery with 67W wired speeds. A 100% charge should be expected in a still quick 46 minutes.
Pricing and availability for the Redmi Note 12 series
The base 8GB/256GB variant of the Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition costs 2,399 yuan (about $332), while the base 6GB/128GB model of the Redmi Note 12 Pro costs 1,699 yuan (about $235). Do you want Pro Plus? The 8GB/256GB variant thus has a starting price of 2,099 yuan (about $290).
Although Xiaomi acknowledged that these phones are currently limited to China, it advised us to “keep tuned” for international announcements. To be fair, the Chinese Redmi Note 11 series was very different from the international variants that debuted a few months later.
What Has Changed Over Time Between the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Fold 3, and Galaxy Z Fold 2?
We let the specs speak for themselves. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 compares to the Z Fold 3 and Z Fold 2 in the following table.
The revolutionary Galaxy Z Fold 4 from Samsung was released a few months ago. The foldable has the same $1,800 starting price as the Galaxy Z Fold 3 from the previous year. Samsung will need to convince consumers to pay up for its high-end devices this year, though, as a recession and record-high inflation are both predicted. But it would be difficult to find a better option than Samsung’s book-style foldables if you’re eager to ride the leading edge of foldable phone technology (and have the money to boot).
Continue reading Samsung Unpacked
Galaxy Z Fold 4, Z Flip 4, and Every Reveal from Samsung
Better Design, Same High Price for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Galaxy Z Flip 4 from Samsung Gets New Software Features
The company calls its foldable phone-tablet, the Z Fold 4, a “multitasking powerhouse.” It features a higher-resolution display, the most recent Qualcomm chipset, Android 12L out of the box, and a new 1TB option. (Scroll to the bottom for a side-by-side spec comparison for more specific information.) The business claims that in addition to providing features like new gestures and an enhanced taskbar, it has tried to make multitasking more intuitive.
The camera system of the Z Fold 4 was also enhanced by Samsung. Three cameras—a 50-megapixel primary sensor, a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor, and a 10-megapixel telephoto lens—are located on the back of the device. Both optical and digital zoom up to 10x are supported by that telephoto lens. In addition, there are two “front cameras.” The Z Fold 4’s main display has a 10-megapixel sensor, which is the most noticeable, while the internal screen has a 4-megapixel under-display camera.
Along with the updated specifications, Samsung stressed its desire to create foldable phones that are more environmentally friendly. The Fold 4 is the first of Samsung’s folding devices to employ parts manufactured from recycled fishing nets. There are several recycled components inside the phone, including the connector cap for the display and the bracket for the side keys. Nevertheless, it’s challenging to assess the significance of these changes without tearing them apart.
In relation to sustainability, Samsung claims the Z Fold 4 uses stronger materials. An “optimal layer structure,” which provides better damage prevention, is now used for its main cover. The typical aluminum frames and Gorilla Glass Victus on the cover and back support everything mentioned above.
The lack of dust resistance on the Z Fold 4 is still a drawback of its foldable nature. It still has the IPX8 classification from the previous year, meaning it can be immersed for up to 30 minutes in freshwater up to 1.5 meters deep. The Galaxy S22 line of smartphones, in contrast, features IP68 water- and dust-resistance, which means the devices can tolerate sand, grime, and dust. They can also be submerged for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 meters.
The S Pen storage slot is still missing, but Samsung has introduced a cover with a S Pen holder that is available for purchase separately. Check out the specs table below from CNET for more details on how Samsung’s cutting-edge Z Fold series has changed over time.
See how the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Watch models compare for more information.
Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs. Z Fold 3 vs. Z Fold 2
|Galaxy Z Fold 4 5G||Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G||Galaxy Z Fold 2|
|Display size, resolution||Internal: 7.6-inch AMOLED (2,176×1,812 pixels); External: 6.2-inch HD Plus (2,316×904)||Internal: 7.6-inch AMOLED (2,208×1,768 pixels); External: 6.2-inch AMOLED (2,268×832 pixels);||Internal: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED; External: 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 2,260×816 + 2,208×1,768 pixels|
|Pixel density||TBC||387ppi (external) + 374ppi (internal)||386ppi (external) + 373ppi (internal)|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||Folded: 67.1×155.1×15.8mm (Hinge) ~14.2mm(Sagging). Unfolded: 130.1×155.1×6.3mm||Folded: 67x158x16mm (hinge) ~14.4mm (sagging). Unfolded: 128x158x6.4mm||Folded: 68.0×159.2×16.8mm (hinge) ~13.8mm (sagging). Unfolded: 128.2×159.2×6.9mm (frame) ~6.0mm (screen)|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||9.27 oz; 263g||9.56 oz; 271 g||10 oz; 282 g|
|Mobile software||Android 12L||Android 11||Android 10|
|Camera||50-megapixel (main), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 10-megapixel (telephoto)||12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)||12-megapixel (main) + 12-megapixel (wide angle) + 12-megapixel (telephoto)|
|Front-facing camera||4-megapixel (under display), 10-megapixel (front cover)||4-megapixel (under display), 10-megapixel (front cover)||10-megapixel, 10-megapixel|
|Processor||Snapdragon 8 Gen Plus 1||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888||Snapdragon 865 Plus|
|RAM/Storage||12GB + 256GB/512GB/1TB||12GB + 256GB/512GB||12GB + 256 GB|
|Battery/Charger||4,400 mAh||4,400 mAh||4,500 mAh|
|Special features||Foldable phone, 30x optical, 30x space zoom, IPX8, 25-watt fast-charging (no in-box charger)||5G-enabled; Foldable display, 120Hz refresh rate (front cover and main display), IPX8 water-resistance, S Pen support||Foldable display, 120Hz refresh rate, wireless charging support|
|Price (USD)||$1,800 (256 GB); $2,000 (512GB), $2160 (1TB)||$1,800 (256GB); $1,900 (512GB)||$1,999|
|Price (GBP)||TBC||£1,599 (256GB); £1,699 (512GB)||£1,799|
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